Sunday, April 26, 2015

Playground Design

Students practice regrouping decimals by designing a playground in cooperative learning teams! Click here for the printable.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Plant Scavenger Hunt



Take students outside for a plant scavenger hunt! Click here to download. Students tally how many vascular and nonvascular plants they find. Then they draw an example of each. Throughout their walk, they take photos of different plants that they believe represent 7 different types of seed dispersal. They check off different types of roots they come across based on their knowledge of plants. They draw an example of a stem they investigated. Then they draw 2 different leaves and describe the leaves' properties (color, size, texture).

Monday, March 16, 2015

Party Time!

Free printable: Students design a party invitation! Hang their party invitations up around the room. Then the students choose 10 parties they would like to attend. They write down the party name or the name of the student who created each invitation. Next to the name they record, they write when each party starts and ends. Then they write how long each party is (elapsed time). Click here for the printable, which includes clocks on the invitation to help students practice telling time. For more hands-on telling time activities click here to see my post at We Are Teachers.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Packaging Crayons: Assembly Line vs. No Division of Labor

Help students understand the efficiency of an assembly line by having them package crayons! In this activity half of the class is part of an assembly line and the other half has no division of labor.

Assembly Line Instructions:
Separate crayons by color into different bins.
Lay the bins out in a line.
Put a package of Ziploc bags at one end of the line.
Put an empty bin on the other end of the line (used to "ship" crayons out to consumers).
Students sit in a line, pass the baggie down the line and add 1 crayon.
The last person zips up the bag and puts it in the bin to send off!

No Division of Labor:
Set out crayons in separate bins (separated by color exactly like the assembly line).
Put the bin for "shipping" crayons near the line.
Give each child 1 Ziploc bag to start out with.
Give each child a special ticket.
Ticket has their name on and the order in which they have to collect crayons in their bag.
Students work independently collecting crayons.
Make sure that you make out tickets so kids have to go to the same color crayon bin at the same time to provide them with a challenge!
Once students collect their crayons, they zip their bag and put it in the bin.
Then they have to grab another bag and follow the list of colors on their ticket again!

Have students package crayons for 2-3 minutes. Who will finish first?! When time is up check their crayon bags. Does each bag have 1 of each color crayon? If not the bag cannot be counted.

Students discover that they can package more crayons by making an assembly line.
Have kids talk about what way they found to be easier: assembly line or no division of labor.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Seed Engineers


Students are challenged to construct a device to make a popcorn kernel disperse! They invented contraptions that helped a kernel burst (explode), travel by water or wind, attach to humans/animals or look tempting enough to get digested! Visit We Are Teachers to check out my post: Third Grade Seed Experimentation: Adapting a Popcorn Kernel!